The first time I spoke with the members of ITZY around this time last year, something about their “girl crush” concept clicked into place in my brain. I wrote at the time that Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna are able to slide into that part of their collective identity with noticeable ease; it just suits them. A year later, following a world tour, an appearance headlining 2023’s “HEAD IN THE CLOUDS” festival in New York, and a couple of new music releases, that feels more true than ever.
At the same time, ITZY exude the energy of being up for anything. When we jump onto Zoom ahead of their latest project, KILL MY DOUBT, the girls are in their bright performance outfits used in the music video for focus track, “CAKE.” Yeji’s enormous, icy “BABY” necklace catches the light. “We hope this comeback will be very fun,” she says. “We’re excited to share nice memories with the fans.”
In the time since we last spoke, ITZY’s fans, known as MIDZYs, were treated to their first world tour from the group. “US MIDZYs are really good dancers,” notes Chaeryeong. “And they have strong voices.”
Lia calls out their slot at “HITC” as a particular highlight, too — “It was even more fun than we expected,” she recalls. “It was really nice performing outside; it was a really good experience for us.”
The week we speak, the girls are putting the finishing touches on KILL MY DOUBT, now available in full. “CAKE” is fun — light like their 2022 single, “SNEAKERS,” but slightly harder-edged in a way that recalls their 2020 smash, “Not Shy.” “None of My Business” sees the girls tossing melodies back and forth like beach balls; “Bratty” could’ve been on the Barbie soundtrack. “Psychic Lover” bounces over plucky strings, and the connecting thread on the EP is the same one that runs through most of ITZY’s music — that playfulness, and their air of effortless cool that ties it all together.
Over the last year, they felt their group energy continue to shift and solidify in a way that felt unforced. “As time goes by, the team gets more united, and the teamwork gets better every single time,” says group leader Yeji. “I felt that every stop of the tour,” confirms Yuna.